A daily updated, recorded message is available 24 hours at (508) 830-5009.The message will be updated by 1800 (6 PM) each day.
Sunday, February 23, 1997
Latitude 41 degrees 44.3 minutes North. Longitude 070 degrees 37.6 minutes West., moored at the training ship berth, Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Canal . Speed : knots. Weather conditions: Sunny, good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 2 feet,. Wind : NW @ 15 kts. Air temp :32 F . Water temp: 37 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 6Feet/ 1 fathoms. Captain's Comments: " This has been one of the best sea terms we have undertaken in many years. There was the excitement of the Super Bowl in New Orleans with all of the media attention, the great weather through-out , the chance to participate in a NOVA special, a wonderful beach party in St John's, and best of all, TERRIFFIC TRAINING by all three departments. It's been a great trip....but it's nice to be home."
This is the last official entry for the 1997 Sea Term. I would like to thank Capt Allen Hansen (the Academy Associate Dean) who helped me write some of the updates; Lcdr Will Haynes(Associate Prof Marine Eng) who created the MMA web site, taught me how to do the updates, and made this whole thing possible; and Professor Malcolm MacGregor( Marine Safety & Environmental Protection Dept Chair) for loading all of the pictures and helping with the computer systems. Of course, none of the information on the update line would be available if not for the extrordinary efforts of the Master of the Training Ship Patriot State - Capt Joseph Murphy II . He was the one who took the time from his extremely busy schedule to write the updates and send the daily Faxes that kept all of us in daily touch with all of them. I would also like to say good by to the students and the innovative teachers at all of the schools who "took the trip" with us .Special thanks to Sue Green and the third grades @ Hoxie school in Bourne, Mrs Karen Holmes and the seventh grade @ Whitman Middle School , Mrs Sue O'Donnel and the seventh grade @ Indian Head School, the Ridgely Elementry School in Ridgely MD, and the Davis school in Bedford MA. To see the excitement and wonder in the eyes of the children is to experience the sea voyage again for the first time.
Regards, Capt Rick Gurnon ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Saturday, February 22, 1997
Latitude 41 degrees 41.6 minutes North. Longitude 070 degrees 23.5 minutes West., Approximately 3.1 nautical mileseast of the Cape Cod Canal sea bouy Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:- %. BBLS/Mile:. Weather conditions: partly cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 2 feet, Swell : E@ 3 feet. Wind : SW@ 25 kts. Air temp :48 F . Water temp: 40 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 70Feet/ 11.7 fathoms. Captain's Comments: "It's NICE to be home"
HOME IS THE SAILOR, HOME FROM THE SEA . The Patriot State is anchored in Cape Cod Bay . She slipped past Cape Hatteras very early yesterday morning and escaped the usual beating that ships so often get as they round that famous undersea graveyard. With a fair wind , a following sea , and a fast Gulf Stream, she arrived 5 hours ahead of schedule and dropped the hook at 0915 this morning. Now begins the agony of the waiting as we all wait for slack high tide tomorrow @ 1015 . The rails of Patriot State will be full of cadets and crew that can literally smell the New England shore and see cars on the land .
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who complimented Capt Allen Hansen and me for the Patriot State update line. We really enjoyed the opportunity to "take "so many of you on Sea Term '97 with the cadets, officers, and crew of the good ship Patriot State. It has been a great trip ! See you all next year when , for the first time in over thirty years, the training ship crosses the Panama Canal and ventures out on the great Pacific Ocean.
Friday, February 21, 1997
Latitude 37 degrees 52 minutes North. Longitude 071 degrees 33 minutes West., Approximately 181 nautical miles east ofChinoteague Inlet, VA. Course 037 T Speed :17.8 knots. Fuel consumption: 472 barrels. Slip:- 5.42 %. BBLS/Mile: 1.103. Weather conditions: partly cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 2 feet, Swell : E@ 3 feet. Wind : S@ 15 kts. Air temp :70 F . Water temp: 55 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 10,080 Feet/ 1860 fathoms. Captain's Comments: "ONE DAY AND A WAKE UP !!!!! oral exams are underway. The engineers have the liberty turns squeezed in (91 rpm). We are flying. The old training ship is actually overtaking other vessel traffic! We just left the Gulf stream. Sea water temps went from 76 degrees to 55 degrees when we passed the cold wall. The weather is deteriorating with each passing hour as we proceed north. It's going to be a long two days. See you soon.
NEW ETA FOR THE CAPE CAD EAST END ANCHORAGE: 1000 (10AM) Sat 22 Feb. ARRIVAL TIME OF 1015 ON SUNDAY 23 Feb AT THE ACADEMY DOCK IS UNCHANGED. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Thursday, February 20, 1997
Latitude 32 degrees 11 minutes North. Longitude 076 degrees 48 minutes West., Approximately 200 nautical miles east of Hilton Head Island,South Carolina. Course 037 T Speed :17.8 knots. Fuel consumption: 464 barrels. Slip:- 7.00 %. BBLS/Mile: 1.09. Weather conditions: partly cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:NE@ 2 feet, Swell : E@ 3 feet. Wind : NE@ 10 kts. Air temp :76 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 6810 Feet/ 1135 fathoms. Captain's Comments: "TWO DAYS AND A WAKE UP !!!!!!! Prime rib supper tonight. Today is the last day of training. Final Exams start tomorrow at 0800. We are still making good speed and should be anchored in Cape Cod Bay Saturday afternoon. About 50% of the cadets and crew are bringing home the "HOLD COLD" as a special souvenir for their friends and family. "
The ship is riding the Gulf Stream north as she hurries home for her Sunday morning arrival @ 1015 at the Academy. For those of you who want the whole experience, you can see the ship from the Sagamore / Sandwich (east) end of the canal after she drops the hook Sat PM. Patriot State will get underway @ 0800 Sunday morning 23 Feb and enter the breakwater @ the east end @ about 0900. You can drive along the canal scenic highway, stopping to beep the horn and wave,as she steams up the canal, blowing her whistle the whole way. She should arrive at the Academy @ 1000. After the 90 degree right turn into the slip , the first line will go ashore with a loud cheer from the ship (and the dock).Then comes the anxious minutes as the many other lines are fed through the gunnels and the vessel is secured to the land once again. The gangway will be lifted into place with a crane and finally, the first wave of cadets and crew will begin to swarm ashore. For those who have seen it all before, or who want the leisurely approach, go to the Academy dining hall, eat donuts and drink coffee (courtesy of the president) and watch the whole thing inside in comfort .
Wednesday, February 19, 1997
Latitude 26 degrees 08 minutes North. Longitude 080 degrees 00 minutes West., Approximately 8 nautical miles east of Ft. Lauderdale. Course 254 T Speed :17.7 knots. Fuel consumption: 464 barrels. Slip:- 3.00 %. BBLS/Mile: 1.09. Weather conditions: partly cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 10 feet, Swell : E@ 10 feet. Wind : E@ 25 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 79 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately . Depth of water under the keel : 720 Feet/ 120 fathoms. Captain's Comments: "The Bucaneer baseball team was disembarked by launch at the Port Everglades sea buoy at 1334 today. Great Florida weather for Spring training. It's a shame that we have to leave the warm, sunny days down here. The cadets will steer a true course and steam as hard as they can, we are on our way home! TSPS will be anchoring in Cape Cod Bay on Saturday evening around 7 PM if the weather cooperates as we steam north. Three days and a wake-up left."
With the return of the Patriot State and the student body, those of us still at the Academy turn our thoughts to the next Academic term. By now, students should have received the bill for the Spring Term as well as registration instructions, a copy of the Academic Calendar, and the schedule of operation for the bookstore. At the risk of being repetitive, I will reiterate some of the key points.
Spring payments were due on 3 February. If you have questions about your bill, please contact Sharon at (508) 830-5682. If your bill has been paid, you should have received a beige/manila colored card from the Business Office. This is the student's 'pass' to allow registration. Students who do not receive the card in the mail, will have to report to the Business Office on 3 March prior to registering for courses. Students who have received their registration cards, will proceed directly to their Company Officer for room assignment. STUDENTS SHOULD BE SURE TO BRING THE CARD WITH THEM TO REGISTRATION.
All returning students must report for registration on Monday, 3 March, at the assigned time. Fourth Class (Freshmen) report at 0900; Third Class (Sophomores) at 0950; Second Class (Juniors) at 1040; and First Class (Seniors) at 1130. Readmitted and new students should report at 0830 and all commuting students are to report at 1220. Dormitories will be open at 1800 on Sunday, 2 March, for those students needing to arrive early. Only those students who have received financial clearance in advance will be authorized to stay in the dormitories on 2 March. Dining services will be available beginning at 1100 on 3 March.
One important item that students will find in their mail boxes is a scholarship application. This Spring, the Scholarship Committee will award approximately $75,000 in local scholarships to currently enrolled students for the 1997/98 Academic Year. These scholarships include some need based awards but are primarily merit based scholarships. Completed applications must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by 7 April 1997.
Bookstore hours have been expanded to expedite dispersal of texts. The schedule was included in the Registrar's earlier mailing. Classes begin on 4 March immediately following morning formation.
Any questions related to registration may be addressed to the Registrar, CAPT Allen Hansen, at (508) 830-5037.
Tuesday, February 18, 1997
Latitude 23 degrees 27 minutes North. Longitude 073 degrees 13 minutes West., Approximately 78 nautical miles southeast of San Salvador Island. Course 306 T Speed :17.7 knots. Fuel consumption: 464 barrels. Slip:- 3.92 %. BBLS/Mile: 1.095. Weather conditions: partly cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 10 feet, Swell : E@ 10 feet. Wind : E@ 25 kts. Air temp :82 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: rolling heavily in quarterly seas . Depth of water under the keel : 16,728 Feet/ 5,100 meters / 3.17 miles deep. Captain's Comments:" The Youngie talent show was quite a gig last night. The Deputy Commandant and I took most of the hits. Favorite skits were the senior staff meetings and "captain Salty". Video will tell all. Making good way along our track despite the heavy rolling of the ship. ETA @ San Salvador is 1615 this afternoon. Gulf stream around 0600, 19 Feb. The Buc Baseball team is ready to disembark tomorrow. We have our last Fire & Boat drill today. Tonight is our last time change(to Eastern standard , ZD+5). Cruise is beginning to come to an end. The weather looks a little rough off of Hatteras on Friday, but the weekend weather looks good up in the Bay. Try to warm things up for us!"
There are only two "normal" work/watch /training days left in this Sea Term. Friday will be end of phase exams and Saturday will be final exams for Divisions 1 &3 .These are important tests, some written and multiple choice , some practical demonstrations of what a cadet has learned. On the bridge, for example, a 4/c cadet may be asked to take a weather sight, close watertight doors remotely, and take a loran fix on a chart. In the engine room, a 2/c cadet may have to bring a turbogenerator on the line and explain how to engage the jacking gear.With the close quarters/supervision and individual attention the students get, it is impossible to "fake it " Although there is more than enough work to go around on a ship as big as Patriot State, the Warch and Training cycle is the crucial component for the 6 academic credits earned by the cadets who successfully pass the exams and finish the sea term. Division 2, on Maintenance all this week ,will be doing the heavy lifting and boxing up as the 567 people onboard Patriot State pack up their equipment and gear and get ready for the mass exodus on Sunday 23 Feb.
You may be interested in the choice of Majors that the 4/c have made, now that they have experienced all three majors while underway . 69 chose Marine Engineering, 43 picked Marine Safety & Environmental Protection, 39 went Marine Transportation ,and 16 elected Facilities & Plant Engineering. Equally interesting, I think , are the cadets who change their major now that they have "seen it all". 5 Engine freshmen decided they didn't like the engine room and wanted a view, 9 Deckies left the confines of the bridge, and 23 MSEP "crunchies decided this cruise stuff was so much fun they just might do it for a living. There were also 5 cadets who dropped cruise as an option altogether and chose Facilities & Plant Engineering (ran out of Dramamine?).
Monday, February 17, 1997
Latitude 19 degrees 18 minutes North. Longitude 067 degrees 12 minutes West., Approximately 48 nautical miles north of Punta Borinquen, Puerto Rico. Course 306 T Speed :15.4 knots. Fuel consumption: 179 barrels. Slip:- 1.2 %. BBLS/Mile: 1.15. Weather conditions: cloudy with good visibility. Sea conditions:E@ 10 feet, Swell : E@ 8 feet. Wind : E@ 18 kts. Air temp :78 F . Water temp: 74 F . Vessel motion: rolling heavily in quarterly seas . Depth of water under the keel : 24,849 Feet/ 7,576 meters. Captain's Comments:" Yes that is a TEN foot sea. It Rock'n and Roll'n Monday here. We suspect these seas are from storms up north. HEY, give us a break we're trying to train down here!! It was 78 degrees @ 0700 today. How is it where you are ? "
The ship got under way @ 0648 local time this morning , closing out the last port of Sea Term 1997 . The plan is for the ship to proceed at best speed to Ft Lauderdale to drop the MMA baseball team off for a week of practice in the warm weather. The expected arrival time is 1600 on Wednesday 19 Feb. This is NOT another port call. the ship will heave-to and put the 20 cadets on the team in a pilot boat to make the short run into pier #24 (Burt & Jack's). This is the fourth or fifth year that we have made plans to get the Buc Baseball team some practice in the warm weather and each year we are able to pull it off, they have a winning season! The cadets raise most of the money needed to pay for the week through fund raisers and raffles all fall. This year there is a special treat in that the Boston Red Sox Management has graciously invited the Bucs to be their guests and use their practice field on the 20th of Feb . A special thanks to our own Chris Ryan for making it happen.
Sunday, February 16, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 19 minutes North. Longitude 066 degrees 16 minutes West. In port ,San Juan, Puerto Rico. Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: %. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Ocassional tropical downpours, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions: @ feet, Swell : @ feet. Wind : E@ 15 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 75 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : Feet/ meters. Captain's Comments:
Saturday, February 15, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 19 minutes North. Longitude 066 degrees 16 minutes West. In port ,San Juan, Puerto Rico. Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: %. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Ocassional tropical downpours, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions: @ feet, Swell : @ feet. Wind : E@ 15 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 75 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : Feet/ meters. Captain's Comments:
NO MESSAGE FROM THE SHIP TODAY....EVERYONE MUST BE ON THE BEACH.
Make sure that you check out the MMA home page under "Sea Term 1997" for a bunch of new pictures from the ports and from underway. Lcdr Will Haynes loaded them yesterday from San Juan. Look closely....you may see your cadet !
Friday, February 14, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 19 minutes North. Longitude 066 degrees 16 minutes West. In port ,San Juan, Puerto Rico. Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: %. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Ocassional tropical downpours, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions: @ feet, Swell : @ feet. Wind : E@ 15 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 75 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : Feet/ meters. Captain's Comments: Film crew completed work last night at 2200. The helicopter operations were very exciting. NOVA was pleased with our efforts... I think this was a winner for MMA.Those who say filming is "fun" obviously haven't done it . It was hard work for us all. It was hot, humid and we had to reshoot every scene at least twice....and we didn't even have lines that we had to memorize!"
The cadets and crew of the Patriot State go ashore in the last port of Sea Term '97. The ship is docked at Pier 3 west, right in the middle of the cruise ship berths, right at the foot of Old San Juan. It's a great location, close to the historic sections and near some big tourist hotels where there is a lot of action day and night. Next week at this time they should be off New England.
Thursday, February 13, 1997
Anchored at Latitude 18 degrees 13 minutes North. Longitude 067 degrees 13 minutes West. 2 nautical miles West of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: %. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions: E @10 feet, Swell : E@ 8 feet. Wind : E@ 15 kts. Air temp :88 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : 312 Feet/ 52 meters. Purser's Comments: "Everyone is looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. Filming has been non-stop since 1000. Actors looked tired and hot. The show must go on!! Vessel should be cleared (in Puerto Rico) by 0900 tomorrow for the last liberty port. All hands very sad to hear the B. Bay weather report at noon. However, some of us are hoping for a great spring skiing season."
At noon today the NOVA film crew had involved cadets and crew in a complete evacuation drill including boarding and lowering one of the lifeboats, inflating and launching a raft, and recovering a 'man' overboard. The fire drill had been performed Wednesday evening and the night evacuation is scheduled for late this evening. It will be a long day for all hands as they get underway at midnight for a 0700 arrival tomorrow in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Life aboard ship has been hectic but work has continued here at the Academy as well. While the students are gone, our Facilities Department has taken the opportunity to paint out most of the classrooms and many of the dormitory rooms. Work has continued on the new Student Union with hopes that the grand opening and dedication can be held in March. The engineering HVAC and Refrigeration lab has been set up with work continuing on the Auxilliary Machinery lab. Students are on campus this week and next for HAZMAT and HAZWHOPPER training and Friday marks the beginning of a two day, Environmental Symposium.
In its third year, the Marine Environmental Symposium for high school students has gained national attention and draws students and teachers from across the country. Participants will get a behind the scenes look at the operation of the New England Aquarium and hear presentations by Dr. Stormy Mayo, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies; Dr. Judy McDowell, a Senior Scientist for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; and Dr. George Woodwell, Founder and Director of Woods Hole Research Center. Using the Academy's learn-do-learn model, students are afforded the opportunity to operate the Academy's ship handling and oil spill simulators, explore the food web on Stellwagon Bank, interact with Greenpeace activists, learn about marine mammal rescue opportunities, utilize information systems for education and research, operate the Benthos Remotely Operated Ocean Vessel, and a host of similar activities. Over 250 young people will be participating in this year's symposium.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Wednesday, February 12, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 13 minutes North. Longitude 067 degrees 13 minutes West. 2 nautical miles West of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Course 295 T Speed : 11 9 knots. Fuel consumption: 292 barrels. Slip: -7.55 %. BBLS/Mile:1.02 . Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:E @10 feet, Swell : E@ 8 feet. Wind : E@ 25 kts. Air temp :88 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : 312 Feet/ 52 fathoms. Captain's Comments: " No time to write . NOVA film crew is aboard. 561 cadets , officers, and crew are in make-up now, awaiting their TV debut. Several cadets are already signing autographs."
Tuesday, February 11, 1997
Latitude 17 degrees 56 minutes North. Longitude 065 degrees 05 minutes West.17 nautical miles WSW of Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico.Course 234 T Speed : 12.4 knots. Fuel consumption:137 barrels. Slip: -6.9 %. BBLS/Mile:1.00 . Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:NE @10 feet, Swell : NE@ 8 feet. Wind : NE@ 25 kts. Air temp :88 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: steady . Depth of water under the keel : 14,820 Feet/ 2,470 meters. Captain's Comments: " WICKED BAD SUNBURN!!!!!! Things are great here in paradise! swim call was a big success. Cadets swam, snorkeled or went SCUBA diving all day . Cadets ran the launch service that ferried the people to the beach and back to the ship.Cadets ate everything but the paint on the decks .Gastronomic delights and the quantity engulfed: 960 hamburgers, 1120 hot dogs, 540 chickens, 375 sausages, 625 corn on the cob, 229 pounds of peppers and onions, 475 gallons of bug juice , and 66 gallons of ice cream. This is on top of a normal breakfast and dinner."
The ship has left the anchorage in peaceful St John's bound for Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to pick up a film crew that will be aboard for the next few days. The film crew is doing a show for the PBS NOVA series titled "ESCAPE" and will be filming a fire drill, an abandon ship drill, and lifeboat operations . The plan is to film the cadets fighting a simulated fire,mustering at lifeboat stations, getting into lifeboats, and maneuvering away from the ship.This will be the first time in recent memory that a complete evacuation of the Patriot State has been done on the sea term.Nova is also trying to get the US Coast Guard to provide a helo to do simulated rescue hoists from the deck of the ship and from a lifeboat. If it all goes according to plan, they should get some dramatic, colorful footage of our cadets in action for the show. We will keep everyone posted on the final details of the show.
Monday, February 10, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 17.6 minutes North. Longitude 064 degrees 47 minutes West. Anchored in Pillsbury Sound St John's V.I.Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: % BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. @ foot, Swell : @ foot. Wind : @ kts. Air temp :83 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel : 52 Feet. Captain's Comments: " GONE SWIMMING !!!!!!! "
Sunday, February 9, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 17.6 minutes North. Longitude 064 degrees 47 minutes West. Anchored in Pillsbury Sound St John's V.I.Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip: % BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. @ foot, Swell : @ foot. Wind : @ kts. Air temp :83 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel : 52 Feet. Captain's Comments: " This is paradise ! St. John's is my favorite port call on every cruise. I love to take "the kids " to the beach. "
Because of the delay in their arrival in St John's, the captain has decided to remain at anchor until 0900 local on Tuesday 11 Feb to allow all cadets a chance to go ashore and enjoy the beautiful beaches in the US Virgin Islands.
The ship is now one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. (ZD +4).
We are beginning to get questions about " when will my cadet be available to go home after the ship pulls in on Sunday 23 February?". All cadets will be informed of their Buzzards Bay Watch and Duty assignments prior to their port visit in San Juan. They have all been told to communicate that information to their family and friends so everyone will know when they are free to depart the ship.Because there is no one Division assigned to unload or secure the ship, this can be a little confusing. Usually one group will stay aboard arrival day and depart the next morning. One group will go home on arrival day, returning the next day to unload and clean up , and one lucky group will be able to leave after the ship docks and won't have to return until everyone has to register for the Spring Semester on Monday, 3 March. With 459 cadets aboard, all with different schedules, it may be a bit confusing. If you have not heard from your cadet by next Monday ,and need to know when they will be off , call Capt Gurnon @ 508-830-5045 or e-mail me and I will attempt to ascertain the schedule for you.
Saturday, February 8, 1997
Latitude 17 degrees 56 minutes North. Longitude 065 degrees 51 minutes West. Approximately 4 nautical miles southeast of Punta Tuna , Puerto Rico . Course 077 T Speed : 16.2 knots. Fuel consumption: 459 barrels. Slip: + 3.00 % BBLS/Mile: 1.184. Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. NE @ 10 foot, Swell :NE @ 8 foot. Wind : NE @ 25 kts. Air temp :83 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion:Rolling moderately . Depth of water under the keel : 6,162 feet / 1,027 meters . Captain's comment's :" Just passing between Puerto Rico and St Thomas enroute to Pillsbury Sound in St John. Just another beautiful day in paradise. We're running late so I don't know how successful we will be in getting cleared tonight."
Friday, February 7, 1997
Latitude 17 degrees 28 minutes North. Longitude 072 degrees 22 minutes West. Approximately 55 nautical miles west, southwest of Cabo Beata, Dominican Republic. Course 098 T Speed : 17.2 knots. Fuel consumption: 436 barrels. Slip: -2.33 % BBLS/Mile: 1.104. Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. NE @ 10 foot, Swell :NE @ 8 foot. Wind : NE @ 25 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 74 F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 13,795 feet / 4,206 meters . Captain's comment's :" Coasting off of Haiti and the Dominican Republic today, will go by Puerto Rico tonight. Sun burns have subsided to a reddish brown on most cadets. Weather has been beautiful for the past three days. The North East trades are blowing strong this afternoon, cooling things off nicely. Every one spends every waking moment out on deck. Sunrise was spectacular and sunset is looking even better."
This is the last weekend for division shifts. Division 2 cadets will take their final exams and finally get to switch from mental to manual labor as they assume the cleaning, sweeping, scraping , painting, washing, buffing, polishing, and wiping duties that Divisions 1 & 3 have done for the last 4 weeks . It also means that the ship and crew are on the final 1/3 portion of the trip .Division 1 & 3 cadets will take their last phase exams while anchored off of the Cape Cod Canal on Saturday 22 Feb. I am sure of one thing...they won't be distracted by 84 degree weather and pleasant trade winds !
Dr.Peter Mitchell, MMA president,(who has been aboard since they docked in New Orleans) will disembark in St. John's and return to the Academy.
Thursday, February 6, 1997
Latitude 18 degrees 56 minutes North. Longitude 078 degrees 52 minutes West. Approximately 61 nautical miles west, northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Course 110 T Speed : 17.0 knots. Fuel consumption: 456 barrels. Slip: -.25% BBLS/Mile: 1.118. Weather conditions: Sunny, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. E @ 3 foot, Swell :ESE @ 2 foot. Wind : E @ 18 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 18,335feet/5,590 meters . Captain's comment's :"Clearance in St. John looks good. Immigration will require all hands to show passports. Hope to clear late Saturday afternoon. Passed the Caymans last night, approaching the Jamaica coast now. Night piloting tonight along the north coast of Jamaica. The weather is spectacular today. There is a cool breeze this afternoon. The steel beach is packed. A sunny day brings out the best in everyone. The Chief Mate accidentally set the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon off yesterday activating every international distress system in the Caribbean. The U.S. Coast Guard and MARAD called on the Marisat to see if we were okay. I guess we are here but not all there, if you know what I mean."
The Captain's message indicates that arrival in St. John will be a little later than hoped but not as late as was expected earlier. While not a precision anchorage, the approach to St. John is in somewhat restricted waters and is great practice for the navigation and bridge teams. The anchor detail gets some excellent practical experience as well. The cookout and beach party will be held on Sunday. Monday morning the Patriot State will again head for open waters until arrival in San Juan on Valentine's Day. The Patriot State is expected to dock at 0800 at Pier Three, West --- right in the middle of the city.
Wednesday, February 5, 1997
Latitude 21 degrees 27 minutes North. Longitude 085 degrees 26 minutes West. Approximately 37 nautical miles southwest of Cabo San Antonio, Cuba. Course 153 T Speed : 16.3 knots. Fuel consumption: 441 barrels. Slip: +4.59% BBLS/Mile: 1.179. Weather conditions: Hazy, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. E @ 3 foot, Swell :ESE @ 2 foot. Wind : ESE @ 10 kts. Air temp :84 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 5,547 feet / 1,691 meters . Captain's comment's :" Just passing clear of the Yucatan Channel. We will wave to Fidel on the way by Havana. Weather looks good for the next two days. It was rather cool this morning...at sunrise it was only 76 degrees. It has warmed up nicely to 84 - 85 by noon. Sunburns abound aboard...myself included."
Some of the after hours, fun, events that are scheduled for the sea term include skeet shooting from the fantail, fishing tournaments, cook-outs , special festive dinners, ice cream nights, and band concerts by our own cadet band.
One of the best "fun" events on the ship though, is Las Vegas Night. We print our own Patriot State money ( with a picture of Captain Murphy on the 100 dollar bills) and exchange $500 in TSPS money for $5 in US currency. We have a Roulette wheel (homemade) , Craps table, Poker tables , Black Jack tables and Ace/Duce tables set up in the after mess deck while members of the Commandants staff along with SGA officers and other Cadet Officers man the tables and act as dealers. Cadets can play as long as they have money , but can't get more by buying any. Of course by this point in the sea term, most don't have any more anyway. At 2200, the gamboling stops and everyone takes their "winnings" to the pool deck area for the big auction. There, the Deputy Commandant has 20 plain envelopes, each containing a surprise . One envelope may have a $100 bill in it , another may contain a pass for a free extra hour of liberty or an "overnight" liberty in San Juan. There are always the gag gifts: a night in a stateroom on A deck ( instead of sleeping in a room with 150 of your closest friends you get a room to yourself), or breakfast in bed served by the Deputy Commandant, or a free shoe shine/brass shine performed by the officer in charge of discipline. The cadets who have gotten in some trouble on the cruise hope for the "get-out-of-jail-free" envelope to have their extra duty debt wiped clean, but everyone wants the coveted "First cadet off the ship in B-Bay" and "No duties in B-Bay" tickets which means they are free to go as soon as the ship docks in our homeport.
The bidding is fast and furious ,with no-one knowing the contents of the envelope they are bidding on ,and the "money" having no value once the event is over.Those who are successful in buying an envelope , open it under the hushed silence and intent gaze of over a hundred other cadets.The contents is announced in a loud voice , and is always followed by cheers for the "winners" and guffaws for the one who bid $4000 for an autographed picture of the Captain.
Tuesday, February 4, 1997
Latitude 23 degrees 44 minutes North. Longitude 090 degrees 10 minutes West. Approximately 150 nautical miles northeast of Telchac, Mexico. Course 060 T Speed : 16.9 knots. Fuel consumption: 449 barrels. Slip: -1.23% BBLS/Mile: 1.106. Weather conditions: Hazy, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. NNE @ 1 foot, Swell :NNE @ 1 foot. Wind : NNE @ 5 kts. Air temp :80 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 11,552feet / 3,522 meters . Captain's comment's :" We will approach the coast of Cuba tonight. Hot down here! Too hot for steel beach.....NOT!! Confirming final arrangements for swim call in St John's.Everyone looking forward to it. Weather looks good for our stay."
So far on these updates, we have talked mainly about the work that goes on aboard Patriot State while she is underway. By now you know this is no pleasure cruise. But it is not all work and no play while the cadets and crew are at sea . There are a number of diversions that can engage you in your off watch or off work hours. Every night 4 different movies are shown over the ship's closed circuit TV system. The Student Government Association (SGA) has a wide selection of films and buys new ones each year. For those that want to do something besides veg out on a couch, the SGA runs Bingo games with cash prizes at least once a week. ( They get more popular as the sea term winds down and people run out of money. Then the games get cutthroat ,and loud BOOOs and HISSSes go up when someone calls out "BINGO"and takes the prize.) The SGA also runs a series of tournaments with cash prizes. The games include whist, Foosball, Ping-Pong, cribbage, and the very popular, three-on-three basketball, played on the old pool deck ,aft on "A" deck. Spectators line all of the after deck space three stories high to watch the final six grind it out in a physical game resembling contact rollerhockey basketball with a basket that is constantly moving and a court that has an uneven surface ,4 inch drop-offs for out of bounds and gets slippery with any humidity.(The staff in sick bay is not very fond of this game). We used to have boxing matches on every sea term but our doctors convinced us that it was a lot like "practicing bleeding far out to sea" so we stopped. Wrestling was tried in its place , but hasn't caught on so far. More on the Funship Patriot State's activities tomorrow.
Monday, February 3, 1997
Latitude 19 degrees 32 minutes North. Longitude 95 degrees 47 minutes West. Approximately 24 nautical miles northeast of Vera Cruz. Course 047 T Speed : 12.0knots. Fuel consumption: 122 barrels. Slip: None 1.083 BBLS/Mile. Weather conditions: Hazy, Hot, and Humid with good visibility. Sea conditions:. NNE @ 1 foot, Swell :NNE @ 1 foot. Wind : NNE @ 5 kts. Air temp :82 F . Water temp: 73 F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 5,084 feet / 850 fathoms. Captain's comment's :"It's a brisk, 82 degrees here today at noon with no wind! Those Mexican sombreros will come in handy this afternoon. Hoping the northeast trades will cool things off tomorrow. Will conduct coastal navigation off the coast of Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico enroute to St. John."
We also received word that the Patriot State's layover in St. Johns may be delayed as much as a day due to navigational warnings which add 250 miles to the ship's track. The stop in St. Johns, VI, actually serves two purposes. Since it is a US territory, the US Customs Service maintains an office on the island and the ship can clear customs while at anchor. This speeds up the arrival procedure in San Juan considerably allowing very quick disembarkation upon arrival. Of course, the beach party and cookout are great diversions as well. All hands are required to remain in the vicinity of the beach or onboard the Patriot State. Saturday is the end of Phase II training so there will be examinations throughout the morning as the ship approaches her anchorage. The fun begins after work and exams are finished.
Sunday will be a 'Ropeyarn Sunday' meaning that all unnecessary work is knocked off and those crew and students who are not on watch can relax. The term comes from sailing days when sailors were allowed to relax on Sunday, weather conditions permitting. However, idle time was a rare commodity on board a sailing vessel so, in order to use the time productively, they often sat around and unraveled pieces of manila line to make a yarn like substance called 'baggywrinkle'. 'Baggywrinkle' was attached to the shrouds and stays (the heavy lines that support the masts) so that the ship's sails wouldn't chafe against the bare lines.
Sunday, February 2, 1997
Latitude 19 degrees 11.6 minutes North. Longitude 096 degrees 8.2 minutes West. INPORT VERA CRUZ, MEXICO Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:- BBLS/Mile. Weather conditions: . Sea conditions:. Swell :. Wind : @ kts. Air temp :F . Water temp: F . Vessel motion:. Depth of water under the keel :6 feet / 1fathoms. Captain's comment's :" ( Note: no message received from the ship today )
Today is the last day in Mexico for the cadets and crew of the Patriot State. As was mentioned before, it will be and early night, with liberty expiring @ 2200 for 4/c, 2300 for 3/c, 2330 for 2/c, and midnight for the 1/c. Those who went out on the town today won't find much open late anyway. Sunday is usually a quiet , family day for the people of Vera Cruz. They get all dressed up in their finest (usually traditional ) clothes and walk around the main square. The children, especially, are beautiful with the little girls in starched white dresses and the boys in dark suits and string ties.
Tomorrow the ship gets underway at 0900 bound for St. John's in the US Virgin Islands. She will not go into port there, but anchor (weather permitting) in the harbor and ferry boat loads of cadets ashore for a cookout and some fun on the beach. Everyone will be back aboard each night. They will be anchored Saturday and Sunday to ensure all aboard get a turn on the beach.
If you got one of those " I'm running out of money, take pity on me and send some ,I haven't bought anything for you yet but I will as soon as you send some money..." phone calls this weekend (and you do take pity on them) here's the easiest way to do it. Call the MMA business office @ (508) 830-5085 or 5682 during normal business hours. Have your credit card ready and the business office will execute a cash advance for the amount you specify. They will then notify the ship to pay your cadet (or crewmember) that amount in cash , usually the very next day. We do not charge for this service. We just felt that it was so hard to get money wired overseas when you don't have an address (like a hotel) that we would do the wire transfers ourselves .
Saturday, February 1, 1997
Latitude 19 degrees 11.6 minutes North. Longitude 096 degrees 8.2 minutes West. INPORT VERA CRUZ, MEXICO Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:- BBLS/Mile. Weather conditions:Clear visibility good. (absolutely beautiful day) . Sea conditions:. Swell :. Wind :N @ 5 kts. Air temp :76F . Water temp: 72F . Vessel motion:. Depth of water under the keel :6 feet / 1fathoms. Captain's comment's :"Vera Cruz sure isn't New Orleans. Things are really laid back. Cadets are buying many souveniers because the exchange rate is so good (7.9 pesos / dollar) . Hundreds of sombreros, hammocks, and wood carvings coming aboard. Have to go shopping myself."
Friday, January 31, 1997
Latitude 19 degrees 11.6 minutes North. Longitude 096 degrees 8.2 minutes West. INPORT VERA CRUZ, MEXICO Course T Speed : knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:- BBLS/Mile. Weather conditions:. Sea conditions:. Swell :. Wind :NNE @ 20 kts. Air temp : F . Water temp: F . Vessel motion:. Depth of water under the keel : feet / fathoms. Captain's comment's :"
Well, there's no rest for the weary cadets of Massachusetts Maritime Academy...after the raucous stay in the city of New Orleans and 5 days at sea cleaning up the mess and working hard, it is now time for ANOTHER port visit. The Patriot State docked in downtown Vera Cruz , Mexico, at 0900 this morning . After clearing customs, the cadets in Division 1 and 2 went on their first liberty in an International port. Although there are a lot of things to see and do, the city of Vera Cruz is not a tourist destination but a working sea port. As such, the cadets will discover that few people speak English, telephone calls to the States are hard to make, and changing their dollars into pesos is a requirement. The few cadets who do speak Spanish will ,all of a sudden ,become VERY popular! Some cadets will rent cars and set off to see the Aztec pyramids (2 or3 hours away), most will sit in the open air restaurants and eat real Mexican food, and some will search frantically for the "golden arches" of the one "McDonald's" restaurant in the city so they can have their "fix". Compared to New Orleans, this port call will be restful.
If you are expecting a telephone call from your cadet....be patient. They are very hard to make and very expensive. Waits of up to and hour to place the call are normal...and if the number called is busy or no one is home, you go to the end of the line.
If you are expecting a letter from this port....be very patient. Our experience has been that mail takes up to 14 days to get here from there. And if your cadet forgets to put Mexican stamps(which they have to buy at a Mexican Post office with Mexican money) on the letter and uses US postage out of habit, it will never come.
Thursday, January 30, 1997
Latitude 20 degrees 35 minutes North. Longitude 094 degrees 42 minutes West. Approximately 110 nautical miles Northeast of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Course 227 T Speed : 11.6 knots. Fuel consumption: 261 barrels. Slip:-7.72%. BBLS/Mile:0.936 . Weather conditions: Overcast, visibility good except in occasional rain squalls. Sea conditions: NNE @ 6Feet. Swell : NNE @ 6 feet. Wind :NNE @ 20 kts. Air temp : 77 F . Water temp: 73 F . Vessel motion: Rolling moderately. Depth of water under the keel : 10,168 feet / 1,694 fathoms. Captain's comment's : "Preparing for our arrival into Mexico tomorrow morning. Pilot boards at 0800, should be alongside by 0900 as planned. Captain's room and personnel inspections today. Training is on track, Bingo tonight at 2000. Weather has turned somewhat for the worse since the noon report. Fog whistle is now blowing and keeping the night people awake. Oh well, I'm up - everyone's up!! Adios for now."
Those who heard the ship's whistle when the Patriot State left Buzzards Bay may well recall how loud it is. Inside the ship, the sound seems to reverberate through the upper decks. When in fog, the crew is required by the International Rules to sound the ship's whistle every minute for 4 - 6 seconds. Particularly in the "house", the portion above the main deck, the repetitive nature of the signal can be very bothersome especially for those who are sleeping in preparation for standing a later watch. It may be the one time that cadets in the hold have an advantage over those individuals berthed above decks. Additional precautions for sailing in fog include reducing speed, posting lookouts as far forward and low as possible and maintaining a close radar watch.
The following questions are posed for those students participating in the World Wide Classroom project:
Wednesday, January 29, 1997
Latitude 23 degrees 35 minutes North. Longitude 091 degrees 05 minutes West. Approximately 160 nautical miles Northwest of Progresso,Mexico (on the northern Yucatan peninsula) .Course 227 T Speed : 11.8 knots. Fuel consumption: 271 barrels. Slip:-9.27 %. BBLS/Mile:0.958 . Weather conditions:partly cloudy,visibility good. Sea conditions:N @ 36Feet. Swell : N@6 feet. Wind :N@20 kts. Air temp : 80 F . Water temp: 74 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 12,366 feet / 3770 fathoms. Captain's comment's : "Slow steaming across Campeche Bank for environmental sampling. Did a fire & boat drill this afternoon. Steel beach is sold out again (after a week of rain/ cool weather). We enjoyed the questions from the world wide classrooms. They are posted outside the messdeck for comments. Sighted a large school of flying fish today at dawn. Just a beautiful sunrise this morning."
The term " Fire & Boat drill" refers to the (at least) weekly fire drills that are done aboard the Patriot State. It is an exciting event for the cadets assigned to the fire "party" (team) because the location of the simulated fire is always a secret. The drill starts off with the "evil" Chief Mate putting our Hollywood smoke machine in some out-of-the-way spot and generating billowing clouds of very real looking , dense, smoke. Someone spots the smoke, and never knowing if it is real or not, turns in the alarm to the bridge. The cadets on watch on the Bridge sound the fire alarm, call out the fire party, and send the rest of the cadets and crew to their lifeboat stations. When you are in the middle of the ocean and you have a (simulated) fire...WHO YOU GONNA CALL??? The "At Sea Fire Party". The team is made up of 1/c (seniors) and 2/c (juniors) who volunteered to be the ones to respond in the event of an actual emergency at sea. They have all had special training at the Mass. Fire Academy , in addition to the 2 or 3 years of experience and training that all cadets get as part of the curriculum. They are drilled in shipboard emergencies and search and rescue techniques and practice for hours in every possible scenario that the Captain and Chief Mate can imagine. They are the ones who run to get their gear, suit up in full firefighter "breakout gear" , don air packs and enter the "burning" space. Usually, the "evil" Chief Mate will have a few "victims" hidden in the area and the fire team must find them , carry them to safety, and put out the fire. Everything is as real as we can make it. In fact, when the Mate is feeling particularly "evil" he will pick a cadet who is the tackle or guard on the MMA football team to be the victim. Try to carry 250 pounds of "dead" weight up three flights of stairs wearing a heavy fire coat and pants while breathing from a 25 pound air pack on your back and you can understand why they call him evil!
Meanwhile, back at the lifeboats, the cadets who have that assignment, unfasten the lifeboats , lower them to the rail ,and prepare to load everyone aboard. A muster is taken of the entire ship's complement of personnel. Absentees are found and accounted for ("victims" or "on watch "in the engineroom) .The Officers and crew keep a watchful eye on the events but the cadets run the show.
The whole event takes over an hour...and then everything has to be picked up and stowed away properly.
Tuesday, January 28, 1997
Latitude 27 degrees 35 minutes North. Longitude 089 degrees 17 minutes West. Course 189 T Speed : 11.2 knots. Fuel consumption: 275barrels. Slip:+5.13 %. BBLS/Mile:0.95 . Weather conditions:overcast, torrential rain squalls, passing through a significant cold front. Sea conditions:NNE @ 3 Feet. Swell : NNE@6 feet. Wind :NNE@40 kts. Air temp : 68 F . Water temp: 73 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately. Depth of water under the keel : 6,000 feet /1000 fathoms. Captain's comment's : "Cadets , officers, and crew really enjoyed New Orleans. Completed the transit down river bound for sea. Much easier going down(16 kts) than up (9.5 kts). Helicopter operations with the U.S.Navy had to be scrubbed due to weather...especially the lightning!!."
The cadets and crew of the Patriot State have the week to settle down from all the excitement of the Superbowl and the city of New Orleans. They are at about the 1/3 point in the sea term cycle, with Division 1 assuming the maintenance duties from Division 3 yesterday. That means that Divisions 2 @ 3 will rotate Watch and Training responsibilities until they reach St. John's while the cadets in Division 1 get a break from homework and tests and do some manual , instead of mental, labor for a change.
Monday, January 27, 1997
Latitude 28 degrees 53 minutes North. Longitude 089 degrees 25 minutes West. Course 180 T Speed : 13 knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:%. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions:. Sea conditions: Calm. Swell : N/A. Wind :Calm. Air temp : 75 F . Water temp: 60F . Vessel motion: Steady. Depth of water under the keel : 64 feet or 11 fathoms. Captain's comment's : "We are just taking departure at the sea buoy (1700). It was a great port visit. All hands made it safely back on board. We will rendezvous with a U.S. Navy helicopter at 0800 tomorrow to conduct medevac exercises with them."
The Patriot State departed New Orleans at 0915 today for the nine hour trip down the Mississippi enroute to Vera Cruz, Mexico. It's with much regret that all hands leave a port with the variety of activities offered by New Orleans. But now it's time to reestablish the sea legs and get used once again to the constant rolling of the ship. The process is much easier, however, than it was on the first leg. In both instances, getting into a routine helps ease the transition.
Navigating down a river presents unique training opportunities for the students undergoing deck training. There are many forces at play in a restricted channel that impact the handling of a ship the size of the Patriot State. Wind; current; and the size, speed, and proximity of passing vessels each affect the ship's progress. Current, in particular, will affect the turning radius in oftentimes unpredictable ways. While the pilot and master have the responsibility to safely navigate the vessel, students begin to develop an understanding of what it takes to anticipate course changes and avoid undesired situations.
The engineroom has it's own unique challenges after leaving port. Changing speed is not as simple as stepping on an accelerator or applying the brakes. So, even in emergency situations, concentration and preparedness are critical. In addition to providing propulsion, the engineroom provides 'hotel' services. These include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electricity, potable water, and sewage treatment. In port, many of these services are provided through shore hookups. However, at sea the Patriot State is completely self-sufficient. Engineering cadets develop both a theoretical and a practical understanding of these systems through their experiences on the sea terms.
The next port of call is Vera Cruz, Mexico. The Patriot State is due to dock at 0900 local on Friday, 31 January. We will update you on the expected activities over the next few days.
Sunday, January 26, 1997
Latitude: 29 degrees 14.2 minutes north. Longitude 090 degrees 03.9 minutes west. In port New Orleans. Course: T Speed :0.0 knots. Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: clear , bright blue skies ,visibility good. Sea conditions: . Wind : North@ 10 knots. Air temp : 70F . Water temp: 42 F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel 6feet/1 fathom:. Captain's comment's : " Yesterday was unbelievable! The Patriots cheerleaders came aboard and had an extensive tour of the ship. They autographed T-shirts and hats , had their picture taken with just about everyone who was aboard, and seemed to really enjoy the visit. I can tell you that the cadets really enjoyed their visit. One cadet came up to me after they had left and thanked me for having put him on restriction...otherwise he would have missed the whole thing. We have been putting out our MMA brochures and posters at the foot of the gangway here on the riverwalk and we have run through our entire supply...send more. The reception we have received in this city has been unlike anything I have seen in all my years of sailing. Cadets and crew could not have had a better time. GO PATRIOTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "
After two weeks of hype , the big game is finally here. We are not sure who finally got tickets to the game or if any cadets managed to get in as volunteers like they did in 1990 , but I can safely say that a wonderful time was had by all... no matter who wins the game today.
This is the last night of liberty in New Orleans , and in keeping with our past traditions, liberty expires early for all hands....superbowl or no superbowl. 4/c cadets (fistyear students) must be back by 2200 (10 pm) , 3/c (sophomores) have to return by 2230, 2/c are all in by 2300 (11pm) and even the 1/c (seniors) have "Cinderella liberty" (check aboard before the clock strikes midnight). Tomorrow is a busy day with preparations for getting underway beginning on the 4 to 8 watch in the pre-dawn darkness. Linehandlers will be mustered and ready to go before 0800, the training classrooms will be filled right after breakfast, and the maintenance gangs will begin to tackle the mess left ater all the foot traffic of the last 5 days. There is a lot to do to get a 18,000 ton ship underway and turned around in the river. Everyone must have a clear mind and be alert to do the job safely.
Saturday, January 25, 1997
Latitude: 29 degrees 14.2 minutes north. Longitude 090 degrees 03.9 minutes west. In port New Orleans. Course: T Speed :0.0 knots.Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: clear , bright blue skies ,visibility good. Sea conditions: . Wind : North@ 5 knots. Air temp : 70F . Water temp: 42 F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel 6feet/1 fathom:. Captain's comment's : "It's cold today...we are freezing ...70 degrees..HA. The patriots are staying at the Hilton on the Riverwalk about 500 feet from the bow of the vessel. We have seen most of the team here in town. Drew Bledsoe and Curtis Martin signed autographs for many of our cadets on Their MMA T-shirts. The Patriots cheerleaders may come aboard later today...the Patriots team Mascot just left. This is the best berth in New Orleans!!!! Tomorrow is the big day. GO PATRIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
There is not much I can add to that message . They are obviously having a wonderful time...don't you wish you were there?
Friday, January 24, 1997
Latitude degrees minutes north. Longitude degrees minutes west. In port New Orleans. Course: T Speed :0.0 knots.Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: partly cloudy, passing rain showers ,visibility good. Sea conditions: . Wind : North@10 knots. Air temp : 70F . Water temp: F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel 6feet/1 fathom:. Captain's comment's : " It's been a BUSY day . Tomorrow we bunker ( refuel ) here at the berth. Job Fair yesterday was great, reception scheduled for tonight."
Today was a continuation of the parade of the cameras around the Patriot State. Channel 10 in Providence R.I. , Channel 56 in Boston and FOX TV were aboard to film the cadets and the ship operations.The shows should air on the evening news tonight and , for FOX, on a special superbowl game show tomorrow morning. That makes a grand slam of all the news shows in Boston! Writers from the Patriot Ledger , the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald were also finishing up stories on the ship and crew. Now if we can only get the blimp to film the Patriot's logo on the foredeck of the ship on superbowl Sunday in front of 10 million fans....
Yesterday Capt Al Wilson , the Academy placement director , ran a job fair for those senior and junior cadets who might be interested in working in the Gulf region. A dozen different companies from oil drilling outfits and shipyards to shipping companies and the American Bureau of Shipping showed up to try and interest the cadets to come work for them. It must have been a tough choice for some...the temporary pleasures of New Orleans ...or the future? We try to do these job fairs in the ports that have strong maritime commerce bases to show the many opportunities that exist outside of New England and to expand our students employment horizons. In San Juan in fact, one of our graduates , Capt Paul Simpson (MMA '59), will arrange for some cadets to "shadow" some maritime professionals in various harbor jobs for the day.The list includes harbor pilots, import/exporters, customs officials , tug boat captains ,and others.All this hard work by Capt Wilson and his assistant Lt. Fran McDonald (MMA '85) coupled with the fact that MMA grads have learned self discipline, leadership, and attention to detail (along with , of course, knowing their job very well ), translates into a strong demand for our graduates.
Tonight we host a reception onboard the Patriot State to say "thank you" to the port officials who have helped make our stay in the "Crescent City " possible. We always invite the local Alumni contingent to these receptions so that we can show off the ship and keep them in touch with their school. The party is always a lot of fun with the MMA cadet band strutting their stuff and many visitors , dressed to the "nines" , touring the vessel. The party usually ends at 2200 (10 pm) , but in New Orleans , for some strange reason, it usually lasts much longer... Well as they say in the Big Easy : "BON TEMPS ROULLE" (let the good times roll).
Thursday, January 23, 1997
Latitude degrees minutes north. Longitude degrees minutes west. In port New Orleans. Course: T Speed :0.0 knots.Fuel consumption: barrels. Slip:. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: partly cloudy, visibility good. Sea conditions: . Wind : @ knots. Air temp : F . Water temp: F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel :. Captain's comment's : " This is GREAT!! We have a terriffic berth, right in the center of the action, only a couple blocks from the French Quarter . LET THE GAMES BEGIN."
Be sure to check out the NEW PHOTOS from the first leg of the 1997 sea term. They were loaded by our own Dr. Malcolm MacGregor of the Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Department.You can find them on the Cruise 1997 web page.
Note: New Orleans is in the Central Time Zone. That means the ship is one hour behind us(here on the East coast).
The arrival of the Patriot State in the "Crescent City" set off a feeding frenzy of media types anxious to talk to the 550+ cadets and crew from New England on the big ship with the intriguing name. The Captain and many of the cadets and crew were featured on channel 5 @ 7 news at 6 @ 11 last night and we understand that Liz Walker will be broadcasting the news live from onboard the ship tonight at 6 @ 11 for WBZ, channel 4. There will be stories in the Boston Globe, the Herald , Cape Cod Times , and an assortment of other papers....when you're hot ...you're hot ! Captain Murphy will sunburned from all the bright camera lights on him. The cadets painted a huge Patriots logo across the hatch covers on the foredeck and we sent down some large "GO PATRIOTS" banners to hang on the gangway and about the ship. 'Maybe the blimp will include an aerial shot of the ship during the game...Chris Ryan (the Academy media relations person who works so hard to get the college in the paper and on TV) is working hard on that angle too.
I spoke with the Captain by phone today and he reported that the first night of liberty went very well. ( This may all look like great fun on TV, but you can imagine the concern we all feel when you turn 468 young men and women loose on a party city named "the Big Easy". To heighten the worry, the first night is always the most gut wrenching because it is the first time off the ship for the freshmen and is usually the longest time between ports; 10 days this time). Prior to each arrival though, the Captain and the Deputy Commandant, Cdr Joe Domingos, conduct pre-port briefings with the cadets where they go over the "do's and don'ts" for that port. We have a very strict alcohol abuse policy , a zero tolerance for drugs policy , and a clear " If you embarrass this ship, the school or your family...you're going home" policy . 99.99% of the time that works . Occasionally we get to personally meet the chief of police of the port we are in because someone has had an unscheduled "adventure", but the lesson is then taught , and learned by all.
Wednesday, January 22, 1997
Latitude degrees minutes north. Longitude degrees minutes west. In port New Orleans. Course: T Speed :0.0 knots.Fuel consumption: 276 barrels. Slip:. BBLS/Mile: . Weather conditions: partly cloudy, visibility good. Sea conditions: . Wind : E @ 5 knots. Air temp : 78 F . Water temp: 70 F . Vessel motion: . Depth of water under the keel :. Captain's comment's : " "
LIBERTY, LIBERTY, LIBERTY --- at least for most of the cadets and crew. The Patriot State docked uneventfully at 1542 today alongside the Bienville Street Warf behind the Aquarium in New Orleans. By 1645 the gangway was down and a cheer went up throughout the ship with the first liberty call. Expectations are high for a super visit in one of the most exciting sea ports in the world.
I had an opportunity to speak with Capt. Murphy as the Patriot State was proceeding up the Mississippi at about 1400 today. He was speaking from the bridge as CAPT Jerry Jeane, father of cadet Alan Jeane, piloted the ship. He described the excitement aboard the ship as "electric" and, if his voice is any indication, that was an understatement. As we spoke they were passing the repair yard in which the M/V Bright Field is undergoing repairs. The Bright Field you may recall is the Liberian registry bulk cargo vessel that collided with the New Orleans' Riverwalk on December 14. It was just one of the many sights and probable distractions from the phase examinations on the eight hour trip up river. The Captain was exuberant about the World Wide classroom and stated that during their visit to New Orleans, the home page would be updated by Dr. MacGregor and LCDR Haynes with pictures from the first leg of the trip.
The cadets have more than just the Super Bowl and liberty on their minds. Starting at 0900 Thursday, at least a dozen companies will be on board for a Job Fair organized by the Academy's Placement Office. Participants include Atlantic Marine, American Bureau of Shipping, Noble Drilling, SeaBulk Offshore, Dresser-Rand, SEACOR Marine, Avondale Industries, Tidewater Marine, Gulf Coast Trailing, Global Marine Drilling, Bessel Management Services, Crescent River Pilots' Association, and Argo Marine. It is expected that many of the seniors will leave New Orleans knowing that they have one or more excellent job prospects and some with full offers. The Super Bowl does remain a major attraction. We have learned that a representative from the Patriots' organization will be attending President Mitchell's reception on board Friday night to present a team jersey. Too bad it's not tickets!
Tuesday, January 21, 1997
Latitude 26 degrees 40 minutes north. Longitude 086 degrees 32 minutes west. Approximately 220 nautical miles southwest of Tampa, FL. Course 127 T Speed :11.2 knots.Fuel consumption: 276 barrels. Slip:- 0.75%. BBLS/Mile: 1.022. Weather conditions: partly cloudy, visibility good. Sea conditions: E @ 3 feet. Swell : E @ 4 feet. Wind : E @ 5 knots . Air temp : 72 F . Water temp: 70 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 1,700 fathoms/10,200 feet. Captain's comment's : " TSPS will make a timed arrival and the pilot will board at 0600 local on 22 Jan for river transit. Possibility of morning fog could set us back. End of phase examinations are already underway. Cadets are excited in anticipation of first liberty port. Morale couldn't be higher! Let the games begin!
(For all of you that follow the Patriot State on the Web page, we apologize for the glitch this past weekend. Our server hung up and we were off line from Sunday until this morning. Capt Hansen and I were in every day to update the log... we just couldn't upload it so that you could see it . Hopefully we can keep that from happening again....I had a blizzard of phone and e-mail messages waiting for me when I came in today.)
The ship is making her way toward the mouth of the mighty Mississippi . She should pick up the first river pilot at first light Wednesday and then proceed up river for almost 8 hours until she makes it to New Orleans. The ride up river is one of the most exciting trips that you can have as a mariner. The Mississippi is very busy with empty, 800 foot ,down bound freighters and 40,000 ton tankers passing with only yards separating them from your ship. Off to starboard, they will pass beautiful farms, old oak trees festooned with spanish moss, and dark swamps . It doesn't take much of an imagination to picture Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn watching from the river banks.It will be at lest 1600 (4pm) before they are abeam their berth just upriver from the French Quarter and across from the new aquarium downtown. Two tugs will do a delicate ballet as they nudge the 547 foot Patriot State sideways into the slip while bucking the tricky swirls of the swiftly flowing river. Interestingly , our berth is just downriver from where the runaway freighter rammed the RiverWalk plaza last month.In fact,the last time we were in the "Big Easy" we witnessed another freighter lose power and careen down the river out of control while her crew struggled to get her under power again.Luckily, she dropped an anchor and fetched up in the middle of the river without striking anything.
Tonight will be tough sleeping for the cadets and crew of the Patriot state. After 11 days at sea , working hard , they will all be anxious to step ashore , see some new faces, eat something different , and revel in the feeling of walking on something that doesn't pitch and heave under their feet.
Monday, January 20, 1997
Latitude 26 degrees 39 minutes north. Longitude 086 degrees 15 minutes west. Approximately 220 nautical miles southwest of Tampa, FL. Course 307 T Speed :12.4 knots.Fuel consumption: 307 barrels. Slip:- 5.82%. BBLS/Mile: .99. Weather conditions: Clear, visibility good. Sea conditions: N @ 3 feet. Swell : N @ 4 feet. Wind : N @ 8 knots . Air temp : 74 F . Water temp: 70 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 1,750 fathoms/10,330 feet. Captain's comment's : "Regretfully, I must report that 'Captain Pelican' crossed the last bar. Yesterday's cookout was a great success. We consumed 1,650 hamburgers, 1,350 hot dogs/sausages, and 800 chickens along with all the fixings. The fishing derby was a bust --- no fish caught. Lots of skeet were missed. Training resumed today and the 'steel beach' was sold out at lunchtime. All hands are excited about New Orleans. We will be administering phase exams on the way up the Mississippi River. There will be a lot of distractions during the oral exams."
Martin Luther King Day is not a holiday for the crew and cadets aboard Patriot State. With just over 48 hours left prior to entering their first port, preparations are underway for a safe arrival. On deck, the watch team is preparing to navigate up the river to New Orleans while the training division prepares appropriate lines for securing the vessel to both the tugs and, subsequently, the pier. Engineroom personnel have been working with maneuvering bells throughout these first eight(8) days so their response to commands will be instantaneous. While there is a great amount of anticipation throughout the ship, some of it is tempered by the Phase examinations which will be administered during the trip up river. No one said it would be easy --- this is, after all, a classroom!! Each division is briefed prior to entering port by the Commandant's department so that everyone knows what appropriate activities are available and how to avoid trouble. Needless to say, the activities on this upcoming Super Bowl weekend will varied and memorable. We will talk more about those activities as we approach arrival.
Sunday, January 19, 1997
Latitude 24 degrees 22 minutes north. Longitude 082 degrees 55 minutes west. Approximately 16 nautical miles south of Loggerhead Key. Course 000 T Speed :10.1 knots.Fuel consumption: 260 barrels. Slip:- 7.54%. BBLS/Mile: 1.032. Weather conditions: overcast,visibility good. Sea conditions: N @ 4 feet. Swell : N @ 4 feet. Wind : N @ 15 knots . Air temp : 66 F . Water temp: 74 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately. Depth of water under the keel : 63 fathoms/ 378 feet. Captains comment's : " We are off the Dry Tortugas conducting piloting exercises. Mega cook-out is underway. First course is the hot dog, hamburger, and sausage round...to be followed tonight by chicken and steak. No fish caught so far...the jackpot continues to grow. We observed that one of the Pelicans I reported on yesterday was injured. The bird had a compound fracture of the leg, cause unknown. It was captured and subdued by MSEP cadets. Dr. Capobianco (the ship's surgeon) surgically repaired the leg and stabilized it with a splint that will deteriorate and fall off in a few days. The bird looks fine and is resting comfortably on the forecastle. We hoped it would fly off when we approached Loggerhead Key but it apparently has developed a taste for Polish smoked sausage and isn't going anywhere. Pictures and details to follow for the world wide classroom."
A Sunday at sea is about the only break from the routine that the crew and cadets of the Patriot State can look forward to . The cadets on Training have the WHOLE DAY OFF ! It's the only day that they don't make the annoying " REVEILLE,REVEILLE ,REVEILLE" announcement (called a "pipe" at sea from the old sailing ship days when the Bosun mate would call the crew to duty by blowing a particular tune on a tin whistle, or "pipe") .They can sleep in if they want , write letters home, sunbathe, play cards or just laze around.The cadets on maintenance have a half day off...one group works the morning setting up the cook-out, the rest clean up when it's over. The cadets on watch continue the "4 hours on 8 hours"off routine around the clock. Somebody has to navigate , pilot the ship, man the engineroom and be the lookouts. Don't start feeling too sorry for those in Division 1 , when the schedule is written at the beginning of the Fall by Lcdr Will Haynes (who also created this web site ,by the way) he tries to ensure that every division has an equal number of "good deals".
Saturday, January 18, 1997
Latitude 24 degrees 22 minutes north. Longitude 083 degrees 19 minutes west. Approximately 28 nautical miles southwest of Loggerhead Key. Course 180 T Speed :11.1 knots.Fuel consumption: 277 barrels. Slip:+1.11%. BBLS/Mile: 1.038. Weather conditions: overcast,visibility good. Sea conditions: N @ 6 feet. Swell : N @ 8 feet. Wind : N @ 32 knots . Air temp : 68 F . Water temp: 76 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately. Depth of water under the keel : 467 fathoms/1,532 feet. Captains comment's : "Sea temp is higher than air temp today...but nobody's complaining. We are bound for the Dry Tortugas to conduct piloting exercises. Final preparations for the cook-out are underway...work,work,work, we never rest! The annual PFM (that's our caterer) fishing derby begins at noon tomorrow (Sunday). The grand prize this year is $200.00. Usually it is $100.00 but nobody caught a fish last year ! We have three pelicans who have taken up residence on the stern...eating the fish that come up in the MSEP (marine safety @ environmental major) water samples and nets.
Saturday is just another work day on the "funship" Patriot State. Cadets in Training , Watch, Maintenance and yes the "sculldogs" in the galley all go about their normal routine. That routine starts at 0600 (6am) with "REVEILLE" announced a number of times on the P.A. system. The galley has a hot breakfast ready by 0630, and a small crew of cadets begins to clean up the berthing spaces. Everyone has showered, shaved(if appropriate), dressed, and reports to Morning Formation at 0740. After a brief inspection and a headcount, cadets in training go to class and those in maintenance go off to work.. Cadets in the watch division, however, are on their own schedule. By long established tradition,the deck and engine watches are relieved 30 minutes early. That means the 8 to 12 watch relives @ 0730, the 12 to 16 relieves @ 1130, the 16 to 20 changes @ 1530..(but has the day watch relieve them again at supper time so they can get something to eat), and so on around the clock . One of the greatest builders of character and self-discipline is having to get up at 0300 to relieve the watch at 0330 and then stay on watch until 0730. After a while you are convinced you can get up and do anything at any hour!
Friday, January 17, 1997
Latitude 22 degrees 32 minutes north. Longitude 086 degrees 2 minutes west. Approximately 73 nautical miles northwest of Cabo San Antonio, Cuba. Course 057T Speed :11.8 knots. Fuel consumption: 277 barrels. Slip:-1.43%. BBLS/Mile: .975. Weather conditions: clear ("3-b day" blue ,bright, & beautiful). Sea conditions: E @ 2 feet. Swell : E @ 3 feet. Wind : E @ 10 knots . Air temp : 80 F . Water temp: 78 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately. Depth of water under the keel : 1,046 fathoms/3,430 feet. Captains comment's : "Cadets are having a ball! I wish you could see them. Enthusiasm seems to be a function of sunshine. The steel beach is again sold out --- going through a lot of sunscreen. We are maneuvering in the Yucatan channel conducting environmental sampling. Man overboard drills are fun. Successfully picked up the datum buoy after just two attempts. Engineers maneuvering on the platform. Deck, engine and environmental programs training jointly. Excellent 'fun' in the sun today for all hands.
Students on the ship learn a whole new vocabulary. Terms like 'sea painter', 'marry', 'messenger', and 'gripes' have new an varied meanings on board a ship. One such term is 'SLIP'. In an earlier message I referred to 'slipping' lines meaning that the mooring lines were let go from the pier. A space between two piers is also referred to as a 'slip'. However, in the Captain's summary Of the ship's movement in today's message, 'slip' is referred to as a percentage. In this case, we are talking about the efficiency of the propeller. By counting the revolutions of the shaft, one can determine the theoretical distance the ship should have progressed. A negative slip indicates that the ship has not moved as far as the theoretical calculation. Of course, there are many factors which may impact the determination including weather conditions, speed of the vessel, current, and the condition of the ship's hull.
I thought I would relay a sea term story to you: Last Monday I was talking to Captain Murphy on the cell-phone. As the conversation was concluding, He paused and said "Rick, we had to do a Williamson turn last night off of Block Island." . Well, a "Williamson turn" is what you do when someone falls overboard and you have to turn the ship around quickly and return up your track line to attempt recovery. There was a catch in my voice and a tightening in my stomach . This was news I didn't want to hear. In a hushed voice I asked the Caption : "What happened?".... After a dramatic pause, the Captain added... "We were losing reception on the AFC championship game and had to turn around to get it back !" GO PATRIOTS.
Thursday, January 16, 1997
Latitude 24 degrees 20 minutes north. Longitude 082 degrees 16 minutes west. Approximately 28 nautical miles southwest of Key West, Florida . Course 270 Speed :10.5 knots.Fuel consumption: 241 barrels. Slip:+17.18%. BBLS/Mile: 1.22. Weather conditions: clear ("3-b day" blue ,bright, @ beautiful). Sea conditions: NW @ 2 feet. Swell : NW @ 8 feet. Wind : NW @ 22 knots . Air temp : 83 F . Water temp: 78 F . Vessel motion: steady. Depth of water under the keel : 120 fathoms/720 feet. Captains comment's : "Steel beach sold out today! Sunburns everywhere. Proceeding to Yucatan Channel to conduct environmental sampling. Reports on sampling will be sent to Worldwide classrooms.Will drill on man-overboard maneuvers for the next two days.All first class deck cadets will certify in search @ rescue techniques. Engineers will conduct maneuvering drills simultaneously. Everyone is looking forward to the mega cook-out and fishing derby this Sunday."
note: MMA in conjunction with 4 local schools and a fifth school in Maryland are taking part in a project known as the worldwide classroom. This project is taking place while Maritime cadets are under way on their annual winter sea term. First class ( senior) cadets Elizabeth Simmons and Steven Whitney will aid these schools in completing cross disciplinary projects and lessons in math, science language arts, and social studies by means of fax, letter and the internet.
We would like to thank the 5 schools currently involved in this project and pass on a special "HELLO" to:
the Indian Head school in Hanson ,Ma.
the Whitman middle school in Whitman , Ma
the Hoxie school in Bourne , Ma
the Eleazer Davis school in Bedford, Ma
and the Ridgely Elementary school in Ridgely, Md
Wednesday, January 15, 1997
Latitude 26 degrees 49 minutes north. Longitude 079 degrees 53 minutes west. Approximately 8 nautical miles east of Riviera Beach, Florida . Course 184 speed :16 knots . Weather conditions: overcast,passing rain squalls. Sea conditions: NE @ 6 feet. Swell : E @ 8 feet. Wind : East @ 25 knots . Air temp : 78 F . Water temp: 78 F . Vessel motion: rolling moderately. Captains comment's : "We are just crossing the axis of the gulf stream. It is too nice to even Imagine. This is what we come south for. We have a hot dog on the barbie for you!"
Since the ship sailed on Sunday, the cadets in Division 3 have been assigned to "Maintenance". They will keep that designation until the ship docks in New Orleans. Once they sail from the "Crescent City" , they will begin to alternate watch and training with the cadets in Division 2. What does "maintenance" mean? Well it's a fancy word for WORK. While in maintenance, the deck cadets will scrape and paint various parts of the ship's superstructure, they will grease and tend to the rigging on the lifeboats, and they will do the thousand and one things that one must do to keep a 20,000 ton ship safe. The engine cadets will do routine work on the many different machines onboard. One day they may work on the big emergency diesel generator located on the bridge deck ( that will supply electrical power in an emergency) , another day they might be all the way down in "shaft alley" (the lowest part of the ship where the shaft that turns the propeller runs ...about 15 feet below the water line) working on a fire pump. The freshmen (firstyear) cadets will get a little bit of both deck and engine work, but they also do the housekeeping work. They swab the decks , sweep down , wash the bulkheads , clean the heads in the berthing spaces, and wash the dishes in the galley. Imagine the mess that over 450 teenagers can generate and you have some idea of the magnitude of the problem. Deck and engine maintenance are "daytime" jobs (0800-1600), "inside maintenance" (housekeeping), is an around the clock job. Some cadets have the 1600 to 2400 ( 4pm to midnight), others have the 0000 to 0800 (midnight to 8 am) detail. Aboard Patriot State, someone is always standing watch and someone is always working or cleaning.
The cadets who work in the galley probably work the hardest. It is hot ,humid ,and the work of cleaning plates and trays is dirty. With a tiny galley that is open 24 hours a day, and serving over 2000 meals each day, the work never seems to end . They have to separate the trash , remove the plastic and cardboard for re-cycling, grind up the garbage to go overboard and keep the 2 messhalls spotlessly clean. The handful of cadets who actually work in the scullery (the place where the garbage is cleaned upand fed to the "pig" -food disposal-and the big dishwashing machine is located) Have it the worst. They usually make the best of it , calling themselves "scullery dogs" and squirting themselves with the rinse hose, but our food service director, Mr."Big Nick" Mennillo really makes a point of treating them to extra special desserts and fancy cakes to show his appreciation for their hard work.
Tuesday, January 14, 1997
Latitude 32 degrees 32 minutes north. Longitude 076 degrees 17 minutes west. Approximately 250 nautical miles east by north of Savannah ,Georgia . Course 206 speed :16 knots . Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, visibility good. Sea conditions: W @ 3 feet. Swell : W @ 5 feet. Wind : WNW @ 10 knots . Air temp : 62 F . Water temp: 74 F . vessel motion: steady. Captains comment's : "The sun is just beginning to break out from the clouds. Weather improves every mile we steam to the south. Sun burn report tomorrow. "
Today Division 1 has "training"and Division 2 has the "watch".This schedule will flip back and forth between Division 1 @ 2 until New Orleans. Having "watch" means that the cadets spend 4 hours in the engine room or on the bridge operating the machinery and watching the gages and dials. They have the next 8 hours off (to sleep or eat ) and then they stand another 4 hours of watch. It is the cadets on watch who run the engines , steer the ship, act as lookouts, make the fresh water, run the air conditioning units, navigate, and basically "run" the floating city of 562 people. The cadets are graded on their performance on watch and it becomes part of their grade for the sea term.
Tomorrow we will talk about what Division 3 is doing.
Monday, January 13 1997
Latitude 38 degrees 17 minutes north. Longitude 072 degrees 56 minutes west. Approximately 105 nautical miles east of ocean city Maryland . Course 206 speed 9.9 knots . Weather conditions: overcast, visibility good. Sea conditions: WNW @ 8 feet. Swell : WNW @ 10 feet. Wind : WNW @ 18 knots . Air temp : 32 F . Water temp: 52 F . vessel motion: rolling moderately. Captains comment's : "Sailing and departure went well. cadets are impressive in all phases of watchkeeping. Training commenced this morning without a hitch. Encountered heavy seas off Block Island. Anticipate continued rough seas until passing south of Cape Hatteras tonight. Spirits are high ...only 4 cases of sea sickness in sick bay today....however symptoms of "Pats Fever" experienced by all 562 onboard! "
Today is the first training day aboard the Patriot State.That means that the cadets assigned to Division two reported to their classrooms ready to start "school".It would be like any other day at school except this classroom is MOVING. They will be in class all day, with the subject matter dependent upon the class and major of the cadet. A third class (sophomore) engineering cadet , for example, might be listening to a lecture on steam turbines. A second class (junior) deck cadet may be in a class on nautical astronomy. Fourth class (first year - freshman) cadets are rotated through all three majors (deck, engine and environmental) during the sea term. One day they may be studying the flora and fauna of the Gulf Stream, the next might be spent learning the significance of the different lights they will see on other ships at night, and the next day could be learning how the evaporators work so they can have fresh water to take a shower. Training is the most important part of the sea term. It is a graded, 6 credit ,college course with a mid term exam and a final. The cadets and the staff take the "training days" very seriously and the entire sea term is built around the training schedule.
More tomorrow on the other two divisions and what they are doing.
Sunday, January 12 1997
With one long blast and three short blasts of the ship's whistle, the Patriot State slipped her lines and began backing out of her berth at the Academy . The temperature was below freezing and the wind howled at over 20 knots but you could feel the excitement and anticipation in the crowd of over a thousand that had come down to the pier to wave goodby to their cadets. The parents and friends who came early had a chance to go aboard and tour the ship but by 0930 the Captain was asking visitors to go ashore as the cadets and crew made the final preparations for getting underway. The dining hall ashore was packed as many in the crowd of well-wishers tried to warm up with a cup of coffee . Over 85 DOZEN donuts were consumed during the brief wait for slack high water to occur in the Cape Cod canal so that the ship could back down , turn 90 degrees, and proceed down Buzzards Bay to warmer waters. Finally at 1146, the cadets in the engine room got the order: "Dead slow astern" and the 20,000 ton ship began to move. This was what the senior cadets have been practicing for three years...they were in charge of 18,000 shaft horsepower, a 547 foot ship and 559 other people on a trip to the Caribbean. There will be a lot of work ahead as they study their craft, perform maintenance on the ship and stand countless "watches" in the engine room or on the bridge , but there isn't a college student anywhere who will be any happier than the 459 cadets aboard Patriot State today!
Friday, January 10 1997
The ship passed all of the U S Coast Guard drills today with flying colors. The captain will give liberty to all hands not on watch as we make final preparations for our Sunday departure.Right now there are 459 cadets and 100 officers , staff, and crew embarked aboard for the voyage. This is the largest contingent of cadets to make the annual sea term in over 6 years. The increase is due in large part to the advanced environmental courses being offered onboard by Dr. Malcolm MacGregor, Dr.Alan White, and Dr.Amanda Woods. The cadets really appreciate the opportunity to study the material out to sea and get the hands-on experience that you can't get in a classroom. Being in New Orleans for the Super Bowl probably had nothing to do with it.
Thursday, January 9 1997
After three days of cleaning , loading and moving gear aboard, the ship is finally getting ready for departure.Unfortunately, high winds forecast for Saturday have forced a 24 hour delay. The new sailing time is 1136 on Sunday 12 January 1997.
December 11, 1996
The Patriot State returned to her home port of Buzzards Bay Massachusetts today, after an absence of almost twelve months. The ship left the academy in early January 1996 for Mediterranean cruise, and returned to Boston at the end of February. She sailed immediately from there to Castine Maine, on loan to Maine Maritime Academy. The Maine cruise went to many of the same ports we will be visiting next month. Upon return from their training cruise, she then went to shipyard in Brooklyn New York for approximately 3 months.
Created: December, 1996 by Rick Gurnon